Global plan for PACE Eritrea 1st November 2000 to 31st October 2004.
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Eritrea is part of the Horn of Africa and is located on the southern tip of the Red Sea coast of the continent covering an area of 124 432 sq. km. The country consists of arid and semi-arid lands made up of rugged mountains, plateau and hot and dry lowlands. The altitude ranges from sea level to over 3000 metres. Nearly 85 percent of the area is below 1 500 metres; of this about 33 percent is arid or semi-arid with an elevation of less than 600 m. The relief is largely rugged with deep valleys and steep slopes. Eritrea relies primarily on smallholder agriculture for most of its livestock and crop production. Decades of war, inappropriate agricultural policies, and drought have caused the country serious net loss in the farm assets. The climate ranges from hot arid (adjacent to the Red Sea), to temperate sub-humid in isolated micro-catchments within the eastern escarpment of the highlands. Altitude is the major factor determining temperature. As such, about 72% of the country is classified as very hot (with mean annual temperatures exceeding 24 degrees Centigrade) while not more than 14% is classified as mild or cool with annual temperatures below 21.5 degrees Centigrade. Total annual rainfall tends to increase from north to south from less than 200 mm at the northern border with the Sudan to more than 700 mm in a restricted area on the southern border with Ethiopia. A small area on the eastern escarpment known as the "Green Belt" receives over 900 mm annually on the average. The main rainy season is from June to September with the heaviest precipitation occurring in July and August. The short rains that fall in April/ May enable planting of the long duration crops such as maize, sorghum and finger millet and provide grass for livestock, and drinking water. In the coastal plains, total annual rainfall is very low and of very little practical value for crop production. There is a high variability in both the amount and distribution of the rainfall over much of the country. Eritrea has suffered from recurrent droughts for many years and most of the existing and potentially important crop production areas are drought prone. Inadequate rainfall amount is a serious climatic constraint. However, rainfall distribution is more limiting than quantity especially in the North Western zone. Extreme rainfall deficits do not occur in the SouthWestern Lowland where precipitation is relatively good (about 600-700 mm).
- PACE Documents & Reports